Emmet G. Sullivan

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Emmet G. Sullivan
Emmet G. Sullivan.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Assumed office
June 16, 1994
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Louis F. Oberdorfer
Personal details
Born 1947 (age 67–68)
Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Howard University B.A.
Howard University School of Law J.D.
Profession Judge

Emmet G. Sullivan (born 1947) is a United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.[1]


Sullivan was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947 and graduated from McKinley High School in 1964. In 1968, he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Howard University and, in 1971, a Juris Doctor Degree from the Howard University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Sullivan was the recipient of a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship and was assigned to the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington, D.C., where he worked for one year. The following year, he served as a law clerk to Superior Court Judge James A. Washington, Jr., a former professor and Acting Dean of Howard University School of Law.

In 1973, Judge Sullivan joined the law firm of Houston & Gardner. He subsequently became a partner and was actively engaged in the general practice of law with that firm until August 1980, when his partner, William C. Gardner, was appointed as an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Thereafter, Sullivan was a partner in the successor firm of Houston, Sullivan & Gardner. He also taught as an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Law and has served as a member of the visiting faculty at Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop.

Sullivan was appointed by President Reagan to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on October 3, 1984. On November 25, 1991, Sullivan was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to serve as an Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

District Court service[edit]

On June 16, 1994, Judge Sullivan was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as United States District Judge for the District of Columbia.

Notable cases[edit]

Sullivan presided over a number of habeas corpus petitions submitted on behalf of Guantanamo captives.[2]

Sullivan presided over Senator Ted Stevens' trial where his indictment was dismissed when a Justice Department probe found evidence of gross prosecutorial misconduct.[3][4][5]

Sullivan is presiding over a case, Judicial Watch v. IRS,[6] where there is an ongoing investigation into the 2013 IRS controversy, specifically attempting to determine where the "lost" emails of former IRS employee Lois Lerner went, and what damage to her computer hard drive occurred, and what steps have been taken to recover the information contained in the emails and on the hard drive.[7][8]

Sullivan is also presiding over the case involving the matter of Hillary Clinton's private email use while Secretary of State.[9]


  1. ^ "Emmet G. Sullivan". US District Court. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Respondents' response to Court's August 7, 2006 order" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. August 15, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Sen. Ted Stevens's conviction set aside". CNN. 2009-04-07. 
  4. ^ www.nytimes.com, Judge Berates Prosecutors in Trial of Senator
  5. ^ abcnews.go.com, Judge Denies Mistrial Request in Stevens Case
  6. ^ Judicial Watch (June 27, 2014). "Motion for Status Conference". Judicial Watch. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ Andrew Zajac (August 14, 2014). "Judge Prods IRS on Effort to Save Lois Lerner’s E-Mail". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kevin G. Hall (August 14, 2014). "Group: Inquiry ordered into lost IRS emails". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Jason Donner (August 20, 2015). "Judge orders State Dept. to work on recovering emails, suggests Clinton violated policy". Fox News. Retrieved August 27, 2015.